Golf: Former local prep players Solem and Shehee qualify for U.S. Amateur

Solem played at Silver Creek; Shehee played at Silver Creek and Mead

Jackson Solem of Longmont saw his run at the USGA Junior Amateur end in the round of 32 on Thursday.
Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
Jackson Solem of Longmont saw his run at the USGA Junior Amateur end in the round of 32 on Thursday.

The biggest amateur golf tournament in the country will include at least two recognizable names from the past.

Jackson Solem, the 2015 winner of the Class 4A golf title from Silver Creek, and TJ Shehee, who was a top 25 prep golfer throughout his four-year career with both Silver Creek and Mead, each qualified for next month’s U.S Amateur in Pennsylvania.

Solem, once named his high school conference’s player of the year four straight times, won his U.S. Am qualifier alongside University of Denver teammate Connor Jones at the Fort Collins Country Club this past week.

Brad Cochi /
Mead senior TJ Shehee finished tied for 14th place at the 4A state tournament last season.

In a field of 71 amateur players, the college fifth-year senior-to-be overcame a triple and double bogey with 11 birdies to score a spot with a 3-under-par 137 over the two-round tournament.

Jones, meanwhile, a former Mountain Range golfer who’d caddied for Shehee the week before at his qualifier, went 71-66 to grab a share of the victory, and the other qualifying spot.

Their fates came a week after Shehee ran away from the field at the qualifier at Columbine Country Club on July 12.

The 20-year-old won with a 6-under 138, shooting 67 over his final 18 holes to trump the field by three strokes. The other qualifying spot on the day went to 50-year-old Sean Crowley, who won a three-way playoff over Blake Trimble of Denver and Easton Paxton of Wyoming.

The four Colorado qualifiers will make their U.S. Am debut August 9-15 at the Oakmont Country Club, a place that has hosted the U.S. Open nine times.

Past winners of the U.S. Am include Bob Jones (1924-25, 1927-28, 1930), Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959, 1961) Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1994-96) and Bryson DeChambeu (2015).